Historical heroes vs. the Vong

Discussion in 'Literature' started by FighterJock, Jan 13, 2001.

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  1. Casta Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 23, 2000
    star 4
    The only reason why a war is fought, is for a better peace, when there is aboslutely no more ground for diplomacy and reason.

    Einstein's genius did *not* end World War II. He contributed little to the campaigns in the European theater. His lovely brainwave was one of the causes of the cold war. He regretted having prevailed over Roosevelt on the A-bomb issue *before* the bomb had even been dropped. The A-bombs did produce decisive results that paved way for the unconditional surrender of Japan, but no matter how much effective it was, regardless how the ends justifies the means, it left permanent scars. It's inevitable, and that is the truth.

    I know the definition of a hero. I know also that military heroes, far-sighted statesmen and humanitarians are not mutually exclusive of one another. Hannibal's hatred of Rome did not prevent him from faithfully carrying out the peace terms set forth by the noble Scipio and from reviving Carthage. Gustavus fought a war of religious conquest, yet that in no way detracted his magnanimity toward the civilians. Cæsar was a literal renegade at the beginning of the Civil War, yet he adopted a policy of Roman leniency regardless.

    Wars certainly do not make one great, yet many times it was during a war when the greatness of a man or a collective of men shines through--genius, gallantry, forbearance, and courage. Yes, war is probably the darkest part of humanity. But without darkness, there can be no real light.
  2. Knight1192 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2000
    star 6
    Sadly Casta, there are many reasons why a war is fought, and virtually none of them are for a better peace. Religous beliefs, politics, more land, resources, feuds, power, freedom, money, land in general. These are all reasons why wars are fought.
  3. Valiento Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 2000
    star 7
    "Einstein's genius did *not* end World War II. He contributed little to the campaigns in the European theater. His lovely brainwave was one of the causes of the cold war. He regretted having prevailed over Roosevelt on the A-bomb issue *before* the bomb had even been dropped. The A-bombs did produce decisive results that paved way for the unconditional surrender of Japan, but no matter how much effective it was, regardless how the ends justifies the means, it left permanent scars. It's inevitable, and that is the truth."

    true, but most heroes while doing good leave scars, in their wake. Einstein being the cause of the cold, war You can't seriosly put all that weight on one person. He only partly was involved with the designing of the A-bomb. Yes he regretted having to make that desicion to design it. As for the european theater, you are right nothing to do with it. But the A-bomb did end the pacific theater, when the japanese probably would have gone on until they lost everyone. Einstein believed by killing some life he could save alot more. It was other people that decided to start the cold war. As knight says wars are rarely fought to make a better place. The little people get screwed and killed while the the rich just get wealthier, or more defensive.
  4. The Tears of Palpatine Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2000
    star 3
    Alexander Magnus, vir qui lacrimavit quod non erant terrae superare.

    Gaius Iulius Cæsar, qui venit, vidit, et vicit.
  5. Casta Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 23, 2000
    star 4
    Rephrase--I apologize for my faulty use of mood--A war should only be fought for the sake of a better peace. To be more specific, better peace in regard to the nation who started. If the leaders of nations are able to comport themselves as supra-nationalists, a better peace can most certainly be reached.

    Do not think that peace is devoid of religious, political, financial, and economical elements. It is not white sedateness in which everyone lays back and lives a pastoral life. It is the balance--of power that avail to national ends. Wars often start in blood and feud, but often end in pursuit of a better peace, not by signing treaties, but by decisive victories that pave way to compel the opponent to give up their aims.

    I did not say one should singularly blame Einstein. I said that he was *one* of the factors. It was he, along with Leo Szilard, who persuaded Pres. Roosevelt to embark upon the A-bomb project. It is not scientific work here but political interference.
  6. Valiento Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 2000
    star 7
    I fully agree, with what you just said. I forget, how much money did they ask FDR for?
  7. Casta Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 23, 2000
    star 4
    Cæsar is as overrated as Mitty. La point.

    He was an amateur soldier of genius, and was extraordinary for his "reckless ambition, matchless daring, and ruthless tyranny," rather than for his skills as a military commander.

    First-class battles/campaigns by Cæsar:

    Ilerda, Ebro, and Pharsalus.
  8. Valiento Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 2000
    star 7
    Could someone translate the statement above please? I know the last phrase but what is the first sentance?
  9. Knight1192 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2000
    star 6
    I will agree with your new post Casta, the end should lead to a better peace. In most cases this is true, but sadly not all cases. Still, your point is valid.

    I'll also point out that the atomic bomb project was originally designed to deal with Germany, not Japan. Because it was known the Nazi's were working on creating an A-bomb, it wasw believed that the US should beat them to the punch. The German's never did complete there work on making a bomb while the Americans did.

    With Germany's surrender, and the threat of their creating a bomb totally gone, attention was turned to using it against Japan. And even then, the scientists on the Manhattan Project tried to keep the bomb from being used by talking to the president and insisting it not be dropped. They even had Einstien himself talk with Truman. However, the Secretary of War and others insisted it was nessicary and it was them Truman listened to.

    So on this subject, I leave you with J. Robert Oppenheimer's, head of the Manhattan Project, words after observing the Project Trinity succesful test. "I have become Death, the destroyer of worlds."
  10. Valiento Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 2000
    star 7
    Quite true, and somewhat depressing.
  11. The Tears of Palpatine Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2000
    star 3
    Iulius is one of the better commanders that the Eternal City has produced. He is in the top 50 military commanders in history, in our opinion. Certainly, Rome has had better generals---Cornelius comes to mind.

    But give credit where credit is due: Iulius was the quintessential citizen-statesman-soldier. He was a true Renaissance man, a second Alexander.

    Whilst he did not have an unmarred record, as did Cornelius, he was certainly close. And whilst he may not have been the greatest commander in Roman history, he was an excellent commander who---unlike Mitty, to whom we have likened him in the past---made solid, lasting contributions to the Eternal City.

    Iulius was the total package---a brilliant man, in virtually everything he did. No wonder Alexander Hamilton found in him the greatest man in history.

    He came. He saw. He conquered.
  12. Valiento Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 2000
    star 7
    all,that for one translation, nice compacting, :). thanks for the help, and I agree with you.
  13. The Tears of Palpatine Jedi Youngling

    Member Since:
    Jun 14, 2000
    star 3
    Oh, the translation. What we said was:

    "Alexander (the) Great, (the) man who wept because (there) were no worlds (left) to conquer.

    Gaius Julius Caesar, who (he) came, (he) saw, and (he) conquered."
  14. Valiento Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 2000
    star 7
    touching, :). As I said before the second phrase I rememembered, must be one of the most well known latin phrases.
  15. Shmi52 Author of New Jedi Order: Balance Point

    VIP
    Member Since:
    Nov 20, 1999
    star 3
    Casta --

    "The only reason why a war is fought, is for a better peace, when there is aboslutely no more ground for diplomacy and reason."

    "I know the definition of a hero. I know also that military heroes, far-sighted statesmen and humanitarians are not mutually exclusive of one another."

    "Wars certainly do not make one great, yet many times it was during a war when the greatness of a man or a collective of men shines through--genius, gallantry, forbearance, and courage. Yes, war is probably the darkest part of humanity. But without darkness, there can be no real light."

    Well said.

    Enjoying this thread heartily,
    Kathy
  16. Knight1192 Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Feb 5, 2000
    star 6
    How about people such as Dr. Salk, Clara Barton, and Florence Nightingale as heros. Tey are heros just as surely as any of the others we've mentioned.
  17. Valiento Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 2000
    star 7
    quite true. Those who spend their lives saving other are more heroes than those that go around killing, in certain points of view.

    why not, ghandi, martin luther king, Jesus(for more reasons than one), and Malcolm X?
  18. Darth Cerberus Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Sep 12, 1999
    star 3
    Alexander was great at fighting battles but as a ruler he was irresponsible to put it mildly. Look at how quickly his so-called empire fell to pieces the moment he died. He made war for it's own sake. For the love of glory. He accomplished little by it however. Not even stopping long enough to firmly secure the regions he had just "conquered". Waging war for it's own sake is far more reprehensible than fighting for personal beliefs, or even for more power. All his victories gained nothing for himself or his successors (which he didn't bother to name until too late) other than some booty.

    Alexander might annihilate the Vong but quite probably at the expense of the NR. He would be unable to heal the increasing tensions and hostilities between different species and individuals, which will eventually destroy the NR far more effectively than the Vong could. On the bright side he might impale Borsk while drunk! But then again he could just as easily to the same to a valuable ally.


  19. Casta Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 23, 2000
    star 4
    WARNING: I advise any one who dislikes Roman history or detests horrendously pedantic, long post refrain from reading my post below.


    <<But give credit where credit is due: Iulius was the quintessential citizen-statesman-soldier.>>

    Vous desirez cela? Vous l'aurez. You have asked me to give him his due credit in the field of generalship, and I will do such.


    Cæsar's Generalship
    I in no way regard Cæsar as any less than breathtakingly extraordinary, albeit to my mild dismay, he neither improved his tactical instrument nor possessed abilities for ruse and stratagems as seen in a Hannibal. That which impresses me the most about his generalship is doubtlessly his sheer will power, his unshakable calm and his absolute confidence in himself and his own genius. He was remarkable in pulling a victory out of a defeat or some other desperate situations (e.g., Battles of Ruspina and Munda). On the other hand, one can not dismiss *how* did he get himself in those situations. General Fuller, his biographer, has remarked in his book that for his desperate entanglement in first place, his brilliant extrication does not excuse him of bad generalship and judgmental errors (momentarily).

    What, then, bestowed success upon his head? In Napoleon's words, "L'audace, toujours l'audace, et encore l'audace!" Audacity, audacity, and more audacity! Cæsar was arguably far better in logistical strategy and movement than in tactical maneuvers.

    From a strategical plane, Cæsar's campaigns were imbued with mobility and surprise, however, such effects were regrettably detracted by two elements--his dispersion of forces, and his inadequate application of cavalry, or to be more general, *tactical* mobility. Common wisdom says momentum equals mass times velocity. Cæsar had the latter in abundance, but his dispersion of forces counteracted the effects of surprise and mobility.

    That was how he lost Dyrrachium to Pompeius. Had Pompeius the Irresolute had more grasp about the value of pursuit, there would have been no Julius Cæsar as one knows him today in history. He, however, did compensate for the defeat at Pharsalus, with a master stroke of both psychology and rare usage of cavalry, which I consider as the peak of his tactical achievement.

    Cæsar suffered two serious defeats in total, one at the hands of the treacherous Aedui, the other, at Pompeius. Fortunately, both were not critical enough to cost his career. But, during many campaigns, his army nearly starved to death. While their loyalty to their commander merited praise, one can not help but wonder what Cæsar had done that reduced his troops to such plight.

    When mentioning Cæsar, I feel, it?s not wholly unnecessary to bring up Pompeius. Gnaeus Pompeius proved himself a worthy opponent of Cæsar, considering the man against whom he fought was among the best of the ancient world. He lacked resolution, and that costed him dear. And of course, Pompeius also suffered from a divided command, being shackled by the restraint of being a servant of the Republic whereas his opponent exercised categorical control over his army. Cæsar's genius lied in his recognition of the politics of war, and adopted a policy of moderation, which earned him the adoration of the people. He met little opposition during his march onto Italy.

    Scipio was that whom one might have called as a thinking soldier, while Cæsar, on the contrary, was the quintessential fighting soldier. In other words, Scipio was more a man of reflection, whereas Cæsar, a man of action. Scipio, whenever starting a fresh set of campaigns, would first and foremost secure his base of operations. Cæsar would dash as a lightning and strike at his enemy's rear as soon as he learned enough.


    Cæsar?s statesmanship

    Julius Cæsar was not a statesman. A statesman, by definition, is a man "whose main tasks in peacetime are to establish justice, harmony and prosperity within his country, as well as to guarantee its security against aggression from without, and in wartime, as Sallust so
  20. Casta Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Jun 23, 2000
    star 4
    Thank for your kind praise, Shmi. I'm touched. *sniffle*. It has been long since we met.

    I savor this thread. It has been quite long since I'm able to do something more constructive. Brainwave. :p
  21. rumsmuggler Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Aug 31, 2000
    star 7
    "Solid Snake". That was pretty cool. Since he was included, how about Gabe Logan infecting the Vong with a modified Syphon Filter virus...
  22. Kadue Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Jun 20, 2000
    star 5
    I'm Australian and we have no military heroes, so I'm going to use an older one, Alexander the Great. He cut a swath through most of Asia and Europe, harrying and defeating some of the greatest empires along the way. Plus he held it until he died.
  23. killfire Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 6, 2001
    star 4
    as a German I woul pick

    - Arminius (or Herman), who kicked the Romans so hard they stayed out

    - Manfred von Richthofen (the Red Baron)

  24. Gav Daragon Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 25, 2000
    star 5
    As a Scot, there aren't many people to pick, other than William Wallace
  25. ArnaKyle Jedi Padawan

    Member Since:
    Nov 12, 2000
    star 4
    Wow, this thread really shot up. I'm impressed with everyone's choices. Ack! How could I forget my own relative? I'm definately submitting General Fred Franks, John McCain, and some British guy whose name I can't remember. Douglas Bader maybe?

    Both of them for similar reasons:
    Both of these men had lost a leg or both, in Bader's case. At this point (WWII for Bader, Vietnam/Desert Storm for Fred), Bader a pilot, Franks an army man, having a severe disability was considered a major handicap for their careers. Both returned to active duty, and were very successful in their careers. With that type of persistance and work, these guys could take down some major Vong butt. They overcame their physical disability to become excellent commanders and fighters.

    Also, may I point out John McCain. This guy rocks. He was taken captive in Vietnam as a POW, and he was so faithful to his country, he was willing to attempt suicide by hanging himself by his underwear after giving out information because they were beating the living crap out of him. He patched together an American flag, and him and some other guys pledged to it every night. The Vietnamese found out and broke his legs, but he crawled back trying to repair the flag. This man is amazing, and his pride is fantastic.

    I could go on and on and honor so many military figures, but like some people mentioned above, you have to have the geniouses too. But in terms of war, these men would be fantastic.
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